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i'm a "natural history" buff -- i.e., less a biologist than a naturalist. highly conceptual categories such as this let non-scientists stretch a bit, to see patterns (real patterns: a striking resemblance to a long-dead ancestral form (like a Sixgill shark), or more exciting still, the discovery of what appears to the eyes as an in-the-flesh example of the fossil species (as with Latimeria chalumnae). no, these aren't pure taxonomic categories, but then again neither are "bird of prey" or even "vulture" and "eagle". but very useful, and a fun way to seek some evolutionary perspective.
in that spirit, i'll try not to multiply entities unnecessarily, as an old fellow once said; i'm working to categorize clades rather than particular types/species (allowing for monotypy of course, as in the case with the Monito del Monte, or perhaps the Aardvark, where only one species exists as sole living representative. including, say, Chelydridae, instead of the two individual species. and whatnot.
i don't know if i've covered everything i wanted to cover, or if it makes complete sense, but it'll do for now. what say ye? - Metanoid (talk, email) 12:59, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
er, i mean, feel free to comment if you happen to feel strongly one or the other. that is all. - Metanoid (talk, email) 13:24, 29 March 2008 (UTC)